A strengthening storm system will bring the threat for flooding, mudslides and severe thunderstorms to areas from Italy into the Balkans later Friday into the weekend.
A storm system tracking across northern Africa will emerge into the Mediterranean Sea Friday afternoon and intensify as it tracks northeast into Italy and the Balkan Peninsula.
As the storm emerges in the Mediterranean Sea showers and thunderstorms will develop across Sardinia and spread into central Italy Friday afternoon into Friday night.
On the southern side of this storm gusty to locally severe thunderstorms are possible. The areas most likely to see these thunderstorms include Sicily, southern Italy, Albania and western Greece.
These storms will be capable of producing wind gusts over 85 km/h (50 mph), hail and flash flooding. Waterspouts are also possible in coastal areas.
The heaviest rain will fall from central Italy into coastal regions of the Balkans on Saturday. Areas from Croatia to Albania will be in the direct path of this heavy rainfall and at greatest risk for flash flooding and mudslides.
Accuweather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani stated, "Rainfall totals of 2-6 inches are expected from Sardinia into central Italy and the central Adriatic coast of the Balkans."
Sagliani added, "This amount of rain over a two-day duration will likely result in flooding, especially in low-lying areas. The heavy rainfall may also trigger landslides in the higher elevations, especially in the Balkans."
On Sunday, the storm will move into the Balkans with a moderate to heavy rain falling from the Adriatic coast to Romania and Bulgaria.
High pressure centered over northeast Europe will weaken the storm as it advances northward early next week. As a result only light rainfall is expected from Poland into western Ukraine and northern Romania.
This area of high pressure will also press cold air southward to the Carpathian Mountains, resulting in the first significant snowfall of the season for the higher elevations in Slovakia, southwestern Ukraine and northern Romania.
A brief period of dry weather is expected across Italy and the Adriatic coast of the Balkan Peninsula Monday into Monday night before another storm targets similar with rainfall, some heavy on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rainfall from the second storm system will once again elevate the risk for flooding as an additional 25-50 mm (1-2 inches).